To the mother on the brink of insanity,
To the mother who just wants some sleep,
To the mother who feels her home might explode into chaos if she doesn’t hold it together,
I hear you.
To the mother who has a love hate relationship with every children’s cartoon created,
To the mother that cannot focus on the unending stream of words coming out of her child’s mouth because of the checklist of tasks in her head,
To the mother who loves her children, but would really like a day (or two) without them,
I hear you.
To the mother whose heart feels so full it could burst when she sees her child’s smile glimmering in the sun,
To the mother who feels the world stop for a moment as she kisses her sleeping child,
To the mother who wonders if it will ever end but still wishes that it won’t,
I hear you.
My friend’s face bore exhaustion and tears as she shared her life with me. She does the laundry, the dishes, the baths, the diapers, the cooking, the lunches….. She is a stay at home mama, and she is tired.
My heart was breaking for her because I could feel it.
I had been exactly where she is. My list of tasks was slightly different, but the emotions were the same: laundry, dishes, diapers, grading, planning, meetings, exhaustion, pressure….. I am a working mama, and I am tired……but not the way I used to be.
There was a point in which the stresses that come with motherhood overwhelmed me. I was frustrated and wiped out on a regular basis. How could this thing that filled me with so much love and joy also cause me to feel so utterly and completely lost in it? This is the great mystery of motherhood.
The burden of motherhood has become much lighter in my life for three reasons:
1. My kids got older and more independent.
This is something we cannot control, so I simply give a word of encouragement: hang in there; it gets easier.
2. I communicated about my emotions and needs.
In one of my previous posts I said, “There is something healing in the sharing. We need to let people into our lives because shared experience is a mathematical phenomenon: the weight of grief is divided and the celebration of joy is multiplied. Life was meant to be lived together.”
If you have a partner you share the parenting role with, I encourage you to express your joys and struggles of parenting with one another. If you find it difficult to do this without blaming and bitterness toward one another, seek counsel on how to do this. It is worth it.
If you are alone in your parenting, find other parents to share with. Sometimes you just need someone to hear you. It isn’t always that you need someone to fix things, simply being understood can work wonders.
3. I changed my perspective.
After some personal counseling, I learned a lot about the pressure I was putting on myself. I was asked, “What would happen if the dishes were left in the sink?” It sounds silly now, but I honestly had a hard time coming to terms with the idea of leaving some things undone.
Don’t get me wrong, I still feel a miraculous peace inside when everything is exactly where it belongs and there is a clean glow about the house. However, I have learned to release some of the internal pressure when the home isn’t that way. I began to understand that our home doesn’t have to be perfect; I just want it that way. From there, I learned that I want to feel happy and content and be present with my children more than I want a clean house.
Do I still find myself overwhelmed at times? Yes.
Am I embarrassed when people come into my home and it isn’t perfect? Yes.
Am I happier and more at peace now than I ever was before? Yes.
I am living my life openly and honestly, and I am accepting the flaws while giving others the opportunity to do the same.
I hear you, tired, loving mamas. I hear you.